Four South Pointe student-athletes signed college papers Wednesday to continue their playing careers at the NAIA and NCAA level.
Shelly Restificar became the school’s first girls’ soccer player to play in college; she signed with NAIA school Brenau University. Tyreece Brice, the school’s first 1,000-point boys’ basketball scorer, signed with USC Aiken. South Pointe’s school-record tying pole vaulter, Hannah Huskey, signed with North Greenville, and Evan Sherer will walk on the volleyball team at Lander University.
Restificar was in a hurry to get her post-signing interviews knocked out because of a looming international baccalaureate exam. She sports a grade point average in the 4.50 region and plans to study either biology or business at Brenau, an all-girls’ school in Gainesville, Ga.
Albany, Virginia Commonwealth, The Citadel and a few other schools were interested in Restificar, and yet she chose Brenau, a relatively unknown NAIA school.
“Soccer is important to me, but I know I’m not going pro,” she said.
South Pointe coach Adam Rainey, Brenau assistant Marilyn Anderson and Restificar’s parents, Rene and Teresita, were on hand for the first girls’ soccer signing in South Pointe’s brief history.
“It feels really cool that everybody’s so excited about it,” said Restificar. “I feel like the coaches are sometimes more excited about it than I am.”
That’s not to diminish her enthusiasm, though. Restificar said she couldn’t imagine her life without a sport she’s played since childhood.
“I’m really glad that I’m playing soccer in college,” she said. “I’m really excited that I get to continue on my career.”
Brice, a 5-foot-10 point guard, faced a recruiting conundrum: take a partial scholarship or walk-on spot at a Division I school, or a full scholarship at a Division II. By signing with USC Aiken, Brice opted for the latter.
“I took D-II where I knew I could get minutes and a whole, full ride,” he said.
Brice was named all-state this season and was an all-region player three out of his four varsity years as a Stallion. He had varying degrees of interest from a number of schools, including James Madison, George Mason and Winthrop, as well as Lincoln Memorial.
In picking USC Aiken, Brice didn’t just settle for any Division II school. Brice signed with a program that made the Division II Final Four this year and set 21 school records en route to its best ever season. The team also had 10 seniors, so Brice should have a chance to make an early impact.
“The facilities are the best in D-II, and they had the major that I wanted,” said Brice. “It was an easy pick for me.”
Brice, who was joined by his parents Tim and Jocelyn, plans to major in business administration and minor in finance. He has a 3.70 GPA.
With just two years of pole vaulting under her belt, Huskey was delighted to be able to continue to improve in a sport she’s only beginning to master. She’s headed to North Greenville, which just started its track and field program.
“I just hope to get better and improve every day,” said Huskey, who plans to study early childhood education and has all As on the report card. “They currently have two girls pole-vaulting, so I’ll be the third.”
Huskey and her family, including her mom and dad, Chris and Lisa, who were at the ceremony, moved to Rock Hill two years ago from the Greenville area. They were very familiar with North Greenville, a school they previously lived five minutes from, and got reacquainted on an official visit about three months ago.
“I grew up around it and just loved the school and the atmosphere,” said Huskey.
Sherer earned a spot on Lander University’s volleyball team as a walk-on after a successful tryout in January.
“This is something I was trying to do, but I’m very surprised that I made it,” said Sherer. “My ninth grade year was my first year touching a volleyball, so this is pretty big.”
Sherer was an all-region selection this past season for the Stallions and led her team in aces and blocks. She has a 3.20 GPA and is looking forward to an academic setting at Lander that’s similar to her high school.
“I like that it’s a really small school,” said Sherer. “I’m going into, like, a 20-person class so I can get that one-on-one.”
Sherer, who was joined by parents Todd and Sue, isn’t sure what she’ll major in, but is leaning toward business or exercise science.
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T